The Ball brothers: Lonzo, left, LaMelo, 2nd from left, and LiAngelo, far right. (Photo source: [email protected])

The most shocking aspect of the shoplifting scandal involving the three UCLA players in China is the fact that LiAngelo Bell was a part of the alleged heist of expensive sunglasses.

You don’t know who LiAngelo Ball is? He is part of a budding basketball dynasty. His dad is Lavar Ball, the walking megaphone of a patriarch who has barked and bombarded his way into riches and notoriety by loudly marketing the basketball genius of his three sons, most notably LiAngelo’s older brother Lonzo Ball, now a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Naturally, your question is this: if LiAngelo Ball’s father is well off and his brother Lonzo is now a multimillionaire in the NBA, why would he feel the urge or need to go on an alleged shoplifting spree for designer stunners with his two UCLA teammates?

It’s hard to rationalize or justify why the well-to-do and the famous resort to stealing items they can easily pay for. But as we can see, there can be a couple of different reasons. One is just plain arrogance or feelings of celebrity privilege. Some famous folks are so used to getting stuff for free all of their adult lives that they just feel the right to take what’s in front of them without conscience.

Others resorted to stealing just to survive the mean streets when they were homeless prior to finding fame and fortune, as ranker.com points out. Some were rebellious or lost adolescents, as in the case with Megan Fox, according to the therichest.com.

Others’ criminality, however, reveals careers — and lives — that have been derailed and jumped off the tracks completely, as pointed out in topix.com. These celebrities, as one famous man said, are car crashes waiting for a place to happen. Particularly with the first several examples, some of these celebs have spiraled down a dangerous rabbit hole of drug and alcohol addiction, like Amanda Bynes, or experienced career burnout, as in the case with Jennifer Capriati, a former tennis teen star whose family reportedly lived off her earnings until she crumbled under the unrelenting pressure. Still, there are others, like Courtney Cox, who was already mentally misshapen to begin with and endured unimaginable tragedy (legendary husband Curt Cobain of the music group Nirvana committed suicide) and tried to drown her sorrow with powerful narcotics, both legal and illicit, an expensive habit that can make folks steal to procure more drugs. 

Below are some big-name celebs, past and present, who have been accused of or caught shoplifting.

Photo source: [email protected]

Wyona Ryder: This episode of shoplifting shook the Hollywood establishment to its core. Ryder was one of the most successful actress of the 1990’s, a two-time Academy Award-nominated actress who had gotten a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But in 2001, Ryder was caught on camera stealing thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. Ryder attempted to steal nearly $5,000 worth of clothes and accessories by cutting off the tags on the items and placing them along with items in her bag that she had already purchased. During her trial, the actress’ drug use came to the forefront. Even though she overcame this setback and she was forgiven by the Hollywood establishment, her career was never the same after this. 

Brittany Spears: This former Nickelodeon child star-turned adult pop icon began to cry out through her bizarre behavior that she could no longer handle the pressures of being hounded by the paparazzi, making hit records, raising children and surviving failed marriages. She began to look like what Jane Fonda once called Michael Jackson prior to Off the Wall: “the walking wounded” who needed to find a place to crash. Despite tens of millions in her personal vault, she had numerous run-ins with police after having “forgotten” to pay for items. In 2008 in particular, she walked out of a Fred Segal store wearing a $200 shirt that she didn’t pay for. When her crew noticed what she had done, she managed to play dumb to avoid prosecution. Before that, she was captured on camera lifting a disposable lighter, and she was also accused of stealing a wig at another store. 

Photo source: [email protected]

Lindsay Lohan: Arguably the most notorious of the celebrity kleptomaniacs, Lohan eventually became more famous for scrapes with the law than for anything she did on the big screen. Lohan, who skyrocketed to fame via the high school classic Mean Girls, and could actually act, was once sentenced to 120 days in jail after she stole a necklace valued at $2,500 from a store in Los Angeles. And that was just the tip of the iceberg of this talented actress’ spectacular fall from respectability — and the beginning of the world’s fascination with her tragically dysfunctional family. 

Photo source: [email protected]

Courtney LoveRebellion is in Courtney Love’s DNA, or so it seems. Beginning at 14, the actress and singer fought with her parents constantly and regularly disobeyed authority figures. She once stole a Kiss t-shirt that caught her eye, but she was caught in the act. Love had to spend time in the Hillcrest Youth Correctional facility for her shoplifting ways. It did little to deter her from future criminality, as she she was sued for failing to return over $100,000 worth of jewelry that she borrowed to wear to a charity event as an adult.

Amanda Bynes: The white sandy beaches and sunshine in Los Angeles can deceive innocent souls chasing their dreams. Folks often get half-devoured then spit out in the City of Angels and Amanda Bynes was one of the most visible example of this. Bynes is no longer welcome in Barney’s stores in New York after she walked right out of the store wearing a $200 hat that she didn’t pay for. That was the least of her problems as she often drove drunk or high, sometimes blacking out behind the wheel, and often wearing crazy costumes to hide from the paparazzi in both NYC and LA. 

Jennifer Capriati: She was once one of Serena Williams’ most formidable rivals on the tennis court. And then, the former teen tennis star disappeared without a trace. The pressures of having a stage parent pushing her for fortune and fame was too oppressive for her. Multiple media reports had her living in and out of hotels, seeking treatment for a drug overdose and she was eventually arrested for marijuana possession. She was even charged with stalking one of her ex-boyfriends.  Just before all of this, her shoplifting that got her into trouble. She claimed it was an accident when she left a store in Florida wearing a $15 ring that she had not paid for. 

Stephanie Pratt: Reality TV star Pratt reportedly snatched up $1,300 worth of clothing and accessories from a Neiman Marcus store in Hawaii while she was working as a production assistant on the TV show Lost. It was at a time when she was also struggling with a substance abuse problem, which she eventually overcame

 

 

Terry Shropshire

I’m a lover of words, pictures, people and The Ohio State Buckeyes. A true journalist from the soul.